Category: Uncategorized

The Real Estate Development Process

The Real Estate Development Process Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

Real estate development is a potentially lucrative field for anyone looking to invest. It takes a great leader to become a developer, as collaborating, planning, and executing a build ultimately falls back on the developer. Before you commit to diving headfirst into the world of real estate development, read this article to find out what it really takes to start.

Part 1: Pre-Construction

Although most people think of construction when they think of development, there are actually several steps that come before it. You will need to acquire financing, find legal professionals, and search for a property. Builders and architects will need to draw up plans based off of the zoning laws of the township, and the land will need to be surveyed to ensure the integrity of the land. Beyond this, there will be tons of paperwork, many fees, and constant collaboration. You will need to know where you are with each member of your team at all times, as they may not talk to one another.

Unfortunately, many people underestimate the amount of time, effort, and money all of this takes. Some developers get partway through this process and realize they do not have the funds or mental capacity to deal with a project of this size. My advice: imagine how hard you think this will be and expect it to be 10 times harder, at least. Then, you can realistically decide if this is right for you.

Part 2: Construction

If you managed to get through all of the pre-building paperwork, it is now time to move on to construction. Any experienced developer will tell you to expect construction to take several months (or even years!) longer than you planned. Construction workers can run into all kinds of problems, such as delayed materials or hitting a ground pipe. Even more frustrating than the time delay can be the money problem. Any time your construction team runs into an issue, it can cost thousands of dollars. Make sure you have enough financing to cover anything that could arise and be prepared to be patient.

Part 3: Post-Construction

Once your new house or office building is completed, it is time to sell the property or rent it out. This process should be self-explanatory, but again, make sure to account for plenty of time between the end of construction and a finalized contract. This time will also cost you money, as the development loans will need to be repaid one way or another.

Although real estate development can be stressful, time-consuming, and even risky, it is ultimately a very rewarding process. Not only will you have made a (hopefully) lucrative investment, but you will have a major project to show for it. Still, before you decide to head into a new development project, make sure to carefully consider whether or not you are equipped to handle all three parts of a development project.



Biggest Charitable Mistakes

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As a charitable person, one of my main goals in life is to help others any way I can. Most people like to lend a hand in some way, and some people make it a major facet of their routine. Although we try our best to give back in a meaningful way, sometimes, we can make mistakes. These mistakes, unfortunately, can cause charities and those in need to suffer, and we may be none the wiser. Before you engage in a philanthropic cause, make sure you are not making one of these big mistakes.

Trend Over Substance

No matter where you live or who you know, you have probably heard more than once about a trendy activity you can do to support charity. One good example is the Ice Bucket Challenge. While these events do receive views online and may spread like wildfire, they also tend to be less effective than simply giving. For example, many people who did the Ice Bucket Challenge forgot one crucial part — they were supposed to donate afterward. This means that some kids were able to use charity to get views on a challenge that did not benefit the charity whatsoever. Although creating or participating in a trend may be fun, make sure you are actually helping those in need at the same time.

Restricting Your Donation

When you donate to a breast cancer charity, you expect all of your money to go to researchers and research materials, right? Well, the unfortunate truth is most charities need to cover administrative bills, and many do so with your donation. When people find this out, they may choose to donate with the condition that their money is put only toward the charity’s research. What many people fail to realize, however, is that government organizations and large donations already go toward this part of the charity and are usually restricted for these purposes already. So, while you may wish your $10 directly benefited those in need, your money may really be more useful elsewhere.

Donating Your Junk

Many of us have old clothes, electronics, or furniture lying around the house. Instead of throwing these ancient artifacts away, we may be tempted to donate them to a local thrift store charity. However, be aware that these charities have limits on what they can accept. If you want to be sure that your donations are accepted, ask for a list of acceptable items and sort through your possessions to find those. Regardless, you may still be required to go over your items with a charity employee, depending on what they are.

When you begin donating to a charity for the first time, you may quickly learn about some of the pitfalls of donating. Make sure that your charitable efforts are truly helping others by avoiding these mistakes. If you do so, you can rest easy knowing that you have helped someone today.


Recycling Materials With Food

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It is learned from a very young age that recycling is important to be sustainable. But many fail to realize that some materials cannot be recycled if they contain food waste. That is why the following list of reasons why food waste should not be recycled has been compiled. They are as follows:

  • Sanitary Concerns
  • Paper Contamination
  • Single Stream Recycling

Sanitary Concerns

Once the recycling bins leave a home or business, there is still a person dealing with those materials at a recycling facility. Food waste left on recyclable materials can create unsanitary working conditions for the plant workers. Although it can be burned off in the melting process of metals, glass, and plastic, mold and bacteria are still present for these employees before this process occurs. This is a common courtesy that should be afforded to the workers whose job it is to make the world a better and cleaner place.

Paper Contamination

The process by which paper is recycled is quite fascinating. The paper is broken down back into a pulp and mixed with other ingredients so that it can then be reused as other paper or paper products. The problem with food waste in recycling bins is that it contaminates this paper with things like grease and oil which are very difficult to remove in the paper recycling process. This issue is exclusive to paper however because other recyclable materials such as metals, glass, and plastics can be melted down at which point these oils and greases can be removed.

Single Stream Recycling

Similarly to the above issue, some recycling programs use what is known as single stream recycling. In these communities, ensuring food waste is kept out of the recycling bin is even more imperative. Again, oils and grease can contaminate paper to a point where it can no longer be recycled. It should be noted, however, that for the sanitary reasons listed above, communities that separate recycling should still steer clear of food waste in recycling bins.

Recycling is one of the major ways individuals can do their part to improve the world. Many people helping at a local level makes a huge impact over time. To best maximize the amount of recyclable material that can be turned back into a usable product, food waste should always be completely cleared away before being placed in recycling bins.


Should You Compost?

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Thinking about adjusting your home to become a little bit greener? Composting is an easy way to start doing your part for the environment – did you know that about 40% of residential waste is compostable? You can easily start composting at home, reducing your family’s environmental impact, providing a free source of fertile nutrients for your garden’s soil, and improve plant growth better than chemical fertilizers.

Why you may want to start composting

Simply put, composting is a simple way to help keep waste out of landfills and improve the production of most plants in your garden simultaneously. Looking for a bit more information? Here is a more detailed list of reasons to compost:

  • Use fewer chemicals in your garden
  • Creates richer soil
  • Lowers your carbon footprint
  • Saves you money on fertilizer
  • Reduces the amount of food waste your household accumulates
  • Saves you trips to the store to buy fertilizer

How to start composting at home

To begin composting, you’ll need to know that you need three major components to compost successfully: Green materials, brown materials, and water. Green materials are the things you likely already have in your home – vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, and some expired leftovers. Brown materials can easily be gathered outside. These are things like twigs, dead leaves, bark, and branches. You’ll simply need to add the browns and greens equally into your compost pile and add some water to help break down the components. Do some quick research about what to add and what not to add to your compost heap.

You can start a compost heap outside by placing your compost bin or pile in a dry spot with shade and proximity to a water source. Just add your greens and browns as you collect them, but make sure to break up large chunks into smaller pieces and bury fruit and vegetable scraps about ten inches underneath the surface. You should also dampen any dry components before adding them to your heap. You can then cover your heap with a lid or a tarp to keep it moist. Your compost will be ready anywhere from a couple of months to a year or more, depending on what you add.

Composting can be done inside if you don’t have the outdoor space. While this may sound smelly, it doesn’t have to be. You can use a lidded ceramic or stainless steel container to compost indoors successfully without pests or major smells.


History of Ontario’s Recycling

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Waste management is vital in ensuring our environment is clean and safe. The blue box program is a curbside recycling program that is adopted in over 100 countries. What is the history of this award-winning Ontario recycling program?

Increased environment pollution

In 1972, the amount of waste in the ecosystem was increasing leading to the creation of Ministry of Environment (MOE) whose major role was to reduce the waste. A large amount of the waste was as a result of non-refillable cans. A soft drink beverage industry was using the cans to save up on cleaning and collecting refillable cans.

The Ontario Provincial government started a waste material recovering and processing facility in Downsview. However, the quality of the recycled products was poor. Several grassroots organizations were establishing recycling programs in their localities. The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) was mandated to promote the recycled products as recycling operators were struggling to market them. The RCO led discussions on recycling issues such as subsidies for recyclers. The operators started to cooperatively market their products.

The birth and the rise of the Blue Box Program

Following the release of MOE’s regulations and requirements for waste management, a pilot project was initiated in Kitchener. Households were given large blue box as they were deemed to be visible and able to withstand the ultraviolet light. The slogan “We Recycle” was applied to every blue box. The project was a success, and in 1984, the City of Kitchener issued a tender for waste haulers.

In 1987, Ontario appointed Halton Recycled Resources Limited to implement the multi-material recycling program. Ontario government was to launch later waste reduction initiatives where all municipalities with a minimum of 5,000 people were to operate a Blue Box program. The RCO in 1994 provided those in the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Sector with information and resources to handle their waste.

Major strides in the Millennium

In 2002, the Waste Diversion Act (WDA) came into effect, and it was to promote the 3Rs (reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste). The Waste Diversion Ontario was established to maintain and promote waste diversion programs by handling funding issues. The stewardship legislation now requires every brand owner to be physically and financially responsible for the management of their products.

The Blue Box handles glass containers, steel containers, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and newsprints among others making it a successful system. In a world full of waste materials, recycling is the way to go for every city and country.


History of Blue Box Recycling

Blue Box Recycling on Wikipedia

Becoming an Organ Donor

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Every day, thousands of people wait on a list to receive an organ transplant. Many of these people never receive the organs they need to survive and pass away. It is a terrifying thought that one day you or a loved one may be in this position. However, many people are afraid of donating their organs for many reasons. Today, I want to give you some facts so that you are able to make an informed decision about whether or not to be an organ donor.

1) One donor can save many people.

Think about how many transplants you could provide. Not only can you donate organs, you can also donate tissues that would help people greatly. These can include bone, skin, and veins amongst others. Not only would you be able to help people with malfunctioning organs, you could also help those who have other conditions that impair their body.

2) Your blood type may make the difference.

Have blood type O? Your donations can make a huge difference, as people with type O blood can only receive donations from the same type. In fact, any blood type can receive type O blood or organs, which makes them the most valuable donors. That being said, even if you don’t have type O blood, you should still donate. Type A and B can receive their own type or O, while type AB can receive any.

3) Liver and kidney disease kills a lot.

In fact, these diseases kill more people than Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, or prostate cancer. Donating your organs would give more people the opportunity to live, and hopefully together we can decrease that number enough to make a big difference. It may seem unlikely, but if many people banded together, they could possibly save 3 lives apiece (one from a liver transplant and two kidney transplants) and cut down that statistic quickly.

4) You can donate while you are alive.

Sure, you can’t donate your lungs or liver while you are alive, but you can always donate a kidney. Your lifestyle would likely change drastically, though, so be aware of that before committing to anything. Keep this in mind if a loved one ever needs a transplant, as there is a much better chance of survival and less time waiting for a donor if a matching family member donates.

Donating an organ may sound scary, but it isn’t. It is a necessity for many people, and your donation could save many lives. Consider these facts and statistics, and think about what you would want someone to do if you were on the transplant list. We often don’t like thinking about death or illness, but thousands of people face these realities every day, and your help could brighten their future just a little while longer.

COTM: Heart Health Awareness

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February may be bleak and dreary, but it also signifies a cause that is close to many of us: heart health awareness. Almost all of us can think of someone we know or have heard of who has had a heart condition. Over 600,000 people die every year from a heart-related condition in the US, and it is the second leading cause of death in Canada. What can we do to learn more about heart disease, help spread awareness, and give back to charities that help this cause?

Learning About Heart Disease

Heart diseases affect millions of people each year, and, as stated previously, hundreds of thousands of those people die each year from a heart-related incident. There are quite a few conditions that can cause health issues or death, such as arrhythmia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart attack. You can read about illnesses of the heart on the American Heart Association’s website and find out if you are at risk of contracting one of these illnesses.

Furthermore, it is important to understand the factors that can bring on a heart diseases. High blood pressure and cholesterol are both factors, but stress, smoking, diabetes, and drug/alcohol abuse are all major factors for an increased risk. Family history, sex, and age are also factors. If you have concerns that you may be at a high risk, talk to your doctor to find out how to live a healthy lifestyle and decrease your risk.

Educating Others

One problem with heart disease is that many people are uneducated about the associated factors and symptoms. Many people are unaware that a heart attack can present itself differently in women than in men, although symptoms are often similar. To help with this problem, familiarize yourself with signs of a heart attack and a stroke and speak to your loved ones about what to do if they feel this way. Both a heart attack and a stroke can turn fatal in mere minutes, so it is important for anyone experiencing symptoms to call 911 and get to a hospital as quickly as possible.

Donating To Fight Heart Disease

Every day, researchers are studying ways to reduce and eliminate heart disease. Many charities are also hoping to spread awareness to high-risk individuals and average people alike. If you are in the US, you can donate to the American Heart Association, while Canadians can donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Your donation may help save someone’s life, and I encourage everyone to donate at least a small amount.

Heart disease can destroy families, and it is extremely prevalent. It may not be completely avoidable, but there are many ways to limit your risk and the risk of your loved ones. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases, and share this information with everyone you know. Your help will make a huge difference in helping to eradicate heart disease.

The Meanings of Numbers on Plastic Bottles

The Meanings of Numbers on Plastic Bottles Romeo DiBattista Jr

There are a lot of different types of plastic in the world. Each one has different qualities, and some are easier to recycle or better for the environment than others. The number on the bottle indicates the type of plastic and how it should be treated.


This type of plastic is called polyethylene terephthalate. Most forms are clear, and it is the most common type for beverage containers. It can accumulate bacteria over time, but it is generally considered safe for most uses.

Most recycling programs will accept it, even the ones that pick up recycling bins from the curb. Those programs turn this plastic into polar fleece, carpeting, and other products that need strong fibers.


HDPE is high density polyethylene, a common choice for making opaque containers of all kinds. It is one of the safest types of plastic, since the risk of leeching and contamination are minimal.

This is another type of plastic that most curbside recycling programs will collect. It gets converted into products that need hard plastic for structural reasons, such as benches, new bottles, and even pens.

3: V

Vinyl is used for plastic wrap and some packaging applications, but it is more often used for piping, medical equipment, and other long-term uses. That is because vinyl can contain phthalates and DEHA, which are linked to a variety of health problems.

Relatively few recycling programs accept vinyl, but specialized ones do exist. They use it to make flooring and other construction components.


Low density polyethylene is a safe variety of plastic that is used for products that need flexibility. Bags and squeezable bottles are the most common, but it can show up in anything that needs to bend.

Some recycling programs will accept this, while others will not, so it is best to check with the individual program. Fortunately, acceptance is getting more common, so this plastic can be recycled into anything from envelopes to plastic bins.

5: PP

Polypropylene is safe, and serves as a midpoint between LDPE and HDPE. It can be used in any type of bottle and some other household products.

Many programs will accept it. They use polypropylene to make consumer products, such as brooms and bins, that need a balance of structure and flexibility.

6: PS

Polystyrene is just another word for Styrofoam. It is horribly toxic when mistreated, hard to recycle properly, and very common. It is difficult to find a program that will accept it, but those that do will turn it into new Styrofoam products.

7: Other

All other plastics get grouped into this category. Some are toxic, others are safe, and it’s generally best to avoid them because it is hard to tell the difference. The uses for these plastics are as variable as the plastics themselves. Many can be recycled, but some programs hesitate to take them because it is such a broad category.

5 Etsy Products Made From Recycled Materials

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The e-commerce website Etsy features a variety of unique products to buy made from recycled materials. The items are handsome, creative, quality-made and affordable.

5 Etsy Products Made From Recycled Materials:

Recycled Glass Suncatcher, Amber Sun Ornament

This beautiful piece is ideal for the garden or hung on a window to catch the glorious rays of the sun. A non-profit community recycling center created the elegant suncatcher from the variety of consumer glass bottles picked up curbside or brought to the center.

The suncatcher measures about 4 1/4 inches in diameter and is strung with a hemp cord.

Shot Glasses Cut From Recycled Bud Light Beer Glass Bottles

Recycled beer bottles from the iconic Budweiser brand are the inspiration for the collection of cool-looking shot glasses. The Bud Light label appears on the glass and comes with the beer’s bottlecap attached. The glasses each hold one ounce of liquid and measure about three inches in diameter.

The shot glasses are sold singly or two or four at a time.

Recycled Bike Chain Ornaments: Upcycled Chain 5 Point Star

When it comes to hanging holiday tree ornaments or adding to a personal collection for the home, a recycled beauty created from bike chains is an amazing “off the chain” item. The ornaments feature metallic red or blue paint topped off with a shiny finish.

The item comes packaged in an attractive recycled craft paper box with a compostable ribbon.

Guitar Wall Art-Made From Recycled Magazines

A little rock n’ roll wall art has been designed from the inspiration of an electric guitar. The great-looking, decorative piece has been created from using recycled magazines and medium density fiberboard (MDF) and stands about 15 inches tall with a width of about five inches.

There are five color scheme options to choose from.

Handmade Recycled Guitar String Bracelet/Bangle Bound

A silver colored guitar string bracelet bound with silver wire is ideal unisex jewelry for music lovers and those who enjoy the contributions made from the U.K.’s famous Manchester music scene. The silver bracelet is a stackable bangle.

The recycled materials include three guitar strings and silver plated wire.

COTM: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

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For the past few months, I’ve been writing about a different charity or cause of the month. Today, I want to talk about Alzheimer’s Awareness. The goal of this cause is to spread knowledge of Alzheimer’s Disease so that every person has some knowledge about it. I am going to go over what the disease is, prevention, treatment, and what you can do to help this cause.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease is a degenerative disease of the brain, and it is actually the most common form of dementia. Due to the breakdown of critical parts of the brain, people with Alzheimer’s never fully recover from their symptoms, which can cause severe impairment. A few common symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease are: memory loss, disorientation, mood changes (typically resulting in anger), difficulty with motor functions, and loss of appetite. Alzheimer’s can also cause depression and worsen other conditions.

Can Alzheimer’s be prevented?

Alzheimer’s can be prevented in more than 99% of cases. Prevention techniques include maintaining an active lifestyle, eating a nutritious diet, engaging in social and intellectual activities, and avoiding head trauma. Although none of these habits will guarantee success, studies have shown that following these tips will lessen your risk or delay the age in which you contract Alzheimer’s. The good news is that Alzheimer’s is only a genetic guarantee for less than 1% of the population and it is not a sure part of getting older.

How is Alzheimer’s treated?

Alzheimer’s does not currently have a cure, however, there are plenty of options for treatment, depending on the symptoms exhibited. For example, there are medications for memory loss. Treatment for other symptoms (such as behavior changes, depression, and sleep trouble) typically start with non-drug treatment and may change over time. Promoting a positive environment is one major treatment for these kinds of symptoms. Finally, there are alternative treatments, which may or may not be safe. It is important that any patient with Alzheimer’s talk to their doctor before starting any alternative treatment.

What can you do to help?

Helping the cause of Alzheimer’s is easy. You can donate to the Alzheimer’s Association, which funds research on treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s. You can also promote a healthy lifestyle in your immediate circle of friends and family, as well as share information about the cause. With your help, Alzheimer’s may one day have a cure.

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